As I work on track and scenery I am always on the lookout for new freight cars that could appear on through freights on my 1950 version of the Old Main Line. And of course I am looking for specific cars that appeared on the local, the OML Freight Peddler. These are the cars that take the most research and stretch my modeling skill, but it is fun to locate photos and evidence of the through freights and the cars they carried or could have carried.
Recently, I found Kadee #9015 Mathieson Chemicals SHPX #2570 models for only $30 each, which is a pretty good deal for a car with excellent detail and ready to run in my era after some minor decaling and weathering. These models originally listed for $45. I bought a pair of these Mathieson Leased cars with the same number and experimented with removing the “zero” at the end of the car number and replacing it with a ”one”. The cars were built in 1947, decorated in their as-built paint, and fit in with my layout era. With Mathieson plants at either end of the OML they could realistly have been in service between the two points hauling anhydrous ammonia from production plants to sister plants making fertilizer or out to a final designation customer elsewhere.
Removing the number from a Kadee car was much easier than expected. I used Walthers SolvaSet as either a solvent or a lubricant, not sure which, and it made it very easy to lightly scrape the number off with a dull Exacto no. 11 blade. The number on the sill that appears to be on unpainted plastic came off very easy. I dapped on a little “Pledge” to give a gloss decaling surface and as the photo below shows and the tank car is ready for a “one” to be added and then a spray of DullCote.
I added a little dark gray Tamiya pin wash TAM87199 to the white dome cover to highlight the edges/seams and the tiny handle used to open the cover. What a nice detail to highlight and the contrast brings the viewer’s eye toward this area.
The “one” came from my very small collection of spare decals. I decaled a modern boxcar for a friend years ago, making up a fictitious line for his company which has a siding in North Carolina to ship sweet potatoes. The left over set MicroScale 87-70-1 seems to be a good match. A good act years ago seems to have paid off for me in the present. Carma?
Basic weathering includes spraying the wheelsets with Vallejo NATO Black. Following some advice from Bill Welch I used my newly acquired baking soda blaster (9 oz. Abrasive Blast Gun https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003EM298C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_IBgCDbM72NXQ3) to reduce the shine on the Kadee side frames and prepare them for painting. I used 90 psi and some Arm and Hammer from the kitchen and the results were great. The texture and dull black finish tempted me to stop weathering them at that point. After this first attempt at soda blasting, I sprayed them with Vallejo NATO Black adding a little thinned Vallejo Hull Red overspray to the mix to achieve a grimy, black-brown color. Then some grime and dirt mixes on the underbody followed by another thin coat of Testors DullCote from a spray can. I have had good luck with the spray can and while the cans are little expensive, they provide the convenience of not having to spray solvents through my airbrush and the cleaning that follows. The last detail is the Dangerous placards, they were included with the Kadee model, I secured them with a drop of canopy glue. A light dusting of Pan Pastels is added to simulate steam era cinders and soot, with a slight hint a rusting dirt, as these are both relatively new cars in 1950.
I wasn’t sure if SHPX 2571 actually existed when I started this project and some input from Steve Hoxie of Pensacola, FL offered me the answer I wanted. The links are below:
At about the same time I got a bargain on the Kadee cars I got another bargain when Tangent Scale Model Products released a General American 1948-Design 8000 Gallon Welded General Service Tank Car. I bought a pair at full price, still a bargain, with different numbers in the GATX Black Lease “Original 1948+” paint scheme. These cars in their general leased paint scheme could be headed to many locations to or from the port of Baltimore and points west beyond Brunswick.
A little more detail about my experiment with soda blasting. The health hazards of this technique are minimal, the media (baking soda) is pretty inert, and at 90 psi it was barely strong enough to remove over-sprayed paint my high tech truck painting stand. I was able to put the trucks on my stand in the yard, blast them with 90 psi and they didn’t fly away. Hitting my nitrile gloved hand with the soda blast didn’t have an affect on the glove, no penetration was evident. My truck painting stand, pictured below, is just skewers stuck in a block of foam with rubber bands wrapped around some of the skewers for trucks with larger screw holes which tend to slide down. The frames stay in place while soda blasting, then I rinse them with water and after dry, airbrush with some Vallejo paints.
Again basic light weathering as described for the Kadee cars and these excellent models are ready for service. Great models at a great price. The challenge of tank car resin kit still awaits, but I am happy with the lower cost per model and now have enough for my through freights.